Meditation Helps

meditation helped me find myself again

If it's good enough for the Beatles, it's good enough for me.

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It was hard. Two jobs, countless hours volunteering, a torn household, on top of being a full time student desperate to transfer to the school of my dreams. There were days when all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and cry, even if I knew I'd only feel worse for it. No matter what I did, I felt like I didn't have the right outlet to get rid of all the negativity that plagued me, and nothing ever interested me enough. Going to gym often heightened my self esteem issues, and most days I got home too late to go for a run (one of my best, previous ways to relieve stress).

It wasn't until one of my good friends, a budding follower of femininity and frequent user of cannabis, suggested meditation. Not going to lie, I thought it was complete b.s. at first—all those images of crystals, candles, and Mandala tapestries didn't quite fit my idea of a good time. But, as my friend painstakingly explained, meditation doesn't have to be like that if you don't want it to be. Desperate to find a way to crawl out of the headspace I found myself in all too often, I looked more into it. What I found changed my life.

There are many ways to meditate. The oldest are Buddhist practices that span back centuries, calling for those doing it to sit in a lotus position, and follow written words from the Zazen teachings. The most popular kind of meditation today is called Mindfulness Meditation, which is even taught in schools and hospitals. Mindfulness is described as "...the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment, accepting and non-judgmentally paying attention to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise."

I have tried others, like metta meditation, which focuses on loving and kindness, as well as Transcendental Meditation, which is a rather flamboyant branch that the Beatles enjoyed, but I found myself continuing to return to Mindfulness Meditation, simply because it cleared my mind the best, and allowed me to feel more in the present with whatever I did.

The first time I tried it did not go well. I sat there for what felt like hours, utterly bored and also a little stressed that I wasn't 'doing it right'. It wasn't until I stumbled across this article that detailed all of the worries a new meditator might have that I felt myself becoming more at ease with the process.

I've been doing this for about 5 months and there's still so much to learn. There's comfort, I've found, in simply setting aside some time per day to take care of my mental health. No matter where I went, or who I was with—on a friend's floor on a lazy night in, or 3000 miles away in a tiny bedroom in the heart of Tokyo—meditation was something I had to look forward to after a long and stressful day.

I know that meditation is not for everyone. For some, it might seem scary and stressful to even try to turn the brain off, but I am a firm believer in trying anything at least once. In this case, it paid off. Meditation can help with establishing a healthier headspace, and the community is one of the friendliest and most helpful I've seen. The practice itself is hundreds of years old and there is a type and method of meditation out there for everyone.

Mindful.org is one of the best places start, in my personal opinion, and apps like Calm or Headspace can provide comfort in the form of guided meditation or music. It's easy to get lost in the never ending noise of our fast paced lives and feel so utterly lost and alone in one's worries, but finding the time for some mental healing is a great way to start the process of becoming a happier and healthier person.

Cover Image Credit:

Celine Nguyen

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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The Nike Controversy that Makes no Sense

Nike has been facing backlash recently, for reasons I just cannot understand.

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Nike recently released a plus sized workout clothing line, equipped with beautiful plus size mannequins to advertise their brand. Instead of many in the fitness community rejoicing in this milestone, Nike is facing criticism because people believe that Nike is portraying unhealthy weight standards to their customers.

These individuals believe that the size that is portrayed by Nike's mannequins is obese, and as a result, is telling others that being a size like that is okay. Yet, the mannequins that are usually portrayed in Nike's stores, rarely represent body types of real people.

As I read these comments, I thought to myself – are these people crazy? Think about the men and women who have spent months, maybe even years, trying to lose enough weight just to fit into Nike's plus sized brand! As well, bigger women deserve clothes to work out in. It should not matter if they are "obese" they are working towards a healthier lifestyle.

The backlash being faced by Nike is the mentality that prevents many from even joining a gym. I can completely understand the fear an individual experiences when entering the gym, surrounded by people who look like fitness gods, and you feel like everybody is judging you. As if you do not belong in a gym.

I will never understand how creating more barriers for individuals will motivate others to exercise. In my own opinion, attractive workout clothes are more than enough to motivate me to get to the gym!

Do not let the mentality of fat-shaming, and others fear of a little jiggle prevent you from flaunting Nike's new style, and creating a healthier lifestyle for you

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